Growing Up in ‘The Jungle,’ I Wanted to Head for the Hills

As a Kid in Baldwin Village, I Cranked Up the Radio to Drown Out the Gunfire and Dreamed of Duran Duran and Houses with Lawns

In 1977, my parents moved my two siblings and me into a second-story, three-bedroom apartment on Santo Tomas Drive in the Crenshaw area of Los Angeles.

It was one unit within a 1-square-mile section of apartments informally called “The Jungle.” The area included apartment buildings with whimsical names like Coco Capri and The Islander and boasted swimming pools, large living spaces, courtyards with palm trees and birds of paradise. There were scenic views of the Santa Monica Mountains, the glimmering Hollywood sign, the white dome of Griffith Observatory, and the homes …

More In: Los Angeles Who We Were

The Shooting That Didn’t Kill Westwood

The 1988 Murder of Karen Toshima Was Not the Beginning of the End for One L.A. Neighborhood. But It Did Focus the Entire City on the Problem of Gang Violence.

Last year Los Angeles magazine published a list of the “Eight Crimes that Changed L.A.” The names and monikers of the killers and victims composed a grim roll call: The …

A SoCal City Born on the Fourth of July

We Can Thank Independence Day For Making Huntington Beach What It Is Today

The Fourth of July is a cherished celebration across our country. But in the Orange County city of Huntington Beach, it’s even more important. The holiday helped make the town …

The Dirty Politics That Saved the Santa Monica Mountains

Grassroots Organizing, Race, Nepotism and, Yes, Environmentalism, Collided in a Colorful 1971 L.A. Election

At the time, it seemed just another political dirty trick—a phony newspaper mailed to residents of the San Fernando Valley. But that newspaper, called the Record, turned out to have …

When California Was Waterlogged

The 1862 Floods That Ravaged the West Were Just As Scary As the Drought That Plagues Us Today

Frenzied, the people fled to higher ground along the far bank, saving little more than the soaked clothes slung over their bodies. Some of the last to escape had to …

The Lonely Life of an L.A. Sports Fan

For Decades, Rooting for Southern California’s Teams Was Painful and Even Lonely—but I Persevered

A Los Angeles radio sportscaster who billed himself as “Super Fan” used to end his broadcasts saying, “In the department store of life, sports is in the toy section.” That’s …